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Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among researchers: Study




Recent research papers published in the journal Public Science Library (PLOS) ONE We analyzed asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) of staff engaged in academic research.

study: Prospective study of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals involved in academic research under limited surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.. Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock


The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced research initiatives across the university campus. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome In the early stages of the coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, the risk of infection from asymptomatic COVID-19 patients was unknown. For this reason, it has become important to pay attention to infections in the workplace.

Non-essential research activities ended in March 2020, with most researchers, support personnel, and trainees returning home. However, many universities have begun returning researchers to campus in the mid-2020s, following updated safety standards and using a variety of methods to test SARS-CoV-2 to detect infections in the workplace. rice field.

Previous studies have shown that asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 patients release the virus in fewer days than symptomatic patients. This can reduce the efficiency of routine SARS-CoV-2 testing procedures for detecting acute infections in asymptomatic individuals at work. In addition, existing papers show that presymptomatic people were infectious and viral shedding occurred 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. However, data on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among the university population are still lacking.

About research

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the incidence and seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 within the research community of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) university campus under constrained operations. It was to investigate. .. From July to December 2020, researchers conducted a longitudinal cohort assessment of 910 university researchers on campus. These research faculty, employees, and students visited the UNC-CH campus at least one day a day within the designated time frame.

All people funded by the research grant were asked to enroll in this study. Subjects submitted their consent electronically before enrolling in the study. Individuals who were simultaneously involved in the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine trial during the study period were excluded from the current analysis.

The team conducted routine COVID-19 reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, serology, and risk factor investigations. They used a laboratory-based SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) N-terminal domain (NTD) assay, a standard nucleocapsid (N) platform assay, and an in-house S receptor binding domain (RBD) assay. .. The researchers used the reverse of the Kaplan-Meier estimator to calculate the cumulative incidence and prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody positive rotation with a 95% confidence interval.

Results and discussion

Studies have shown that RT-PCR analysis found only six SARS-CoV-2 positive cases, whereas serology showed a 3.6% COVID-19 incidence in a three-month study. it was done. Based on the N-Abbott SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) test, the initial SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 0.5%. However, using an in-house S RBD IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis, it increased to 5.4%. The university’s cohort reported generally robust compliance with SARS-CoV-2 public health standards, but researchers have found that seroconversion is associated with collection in more than 10 clusters in public and at work. Suggested that.

The authors believed that short-term release of SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic individuals and biweekly RT-PCR screenings likely missed the infection during follow-up. Therefore, the team suggested that a more regular COVID-19 testing schedule was needed to identify asymptomatic infections.

When comparing anti-N to the in-house lab-based ELISA and Abbott platforms for RBD, the researchers found a very poor match between serological testing approaches. These findings mean that the target antigens of the selected assay were important for detecting asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases, which may explain the observed discrepancies. ..

The authors state that the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was probably lower in this sample cohort of university staff involved in campus studies than in the entire North Carolina population. Despite an increase in cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina in the same month, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained low during the follow-up of this study.


The findings show that the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 are poor among researchers and students engaged in academic research on the UNC-CH campus under limited manipulation in 2020. rice field. COVID-19 precautions were highly adhered to in the workplace.Nonetheless, researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2 target variability antigen The results of the serological analysis provided different estimates.

The authors noted that additional studies are needed to determine the most effective serological testing procedures in both the COVID-19 vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations. The team stated that asymptomatic people must frequently undergo SARS-CoV-2RT-PCR testing to detect acute infections. These data also underscore the importance of relapsed COVID-19 serologic studies in the follow-up of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.




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